Friday, March 29, 2013

bits and pieces

I don't know if it's coming back from a long weekend away or the fact that we have guests coming for like the next week, but my attention span has been rather.....short this week. And all over the place if I'm honest. But, that has not stopped me from at least working on a few things.

I managed to get my lilly belle quilt all quilted and trimmed. But now I have to figure out a binding, so I don't know when it will be finished. I have a couple ideas, but I just don't know!

In the mean time, I am working on a back for my marcelle medallion quilt. I have the voile that I am planning to use, I just need to do it. Then again, I also need batting and some hand quilting supplies, so I guess there isn't really any hurry. Except that I have discovered that even though this baby bump is small, it is already getting a bit hard to be crawling around on the floor to baste and trim and such. So I guess I am really racing against the bump. I didn't realize it would happen so soon, since last time I wasn't really quilting much yet. I guess that makes these upcoming months good for smaller projects that I have been putting off forever. And thankfully baby things, even quilts, are pretty small.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to. This weekend I think will hold some major rearranging of furniture around here, so I'm pretty excited about that. Who knows how much sewing the next week will hold, but I really do hope I can get the binding on that quilt and maybe at least baste the marcelle medallion so I can start hand quilting (eek!!!) soon. Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


What a weekend! I've been home for a couple days now, and I am still processing the pure amazingness that was Sew South. Having never been to a sewing retreat, and in fact not even really having any friends that sew much, my expectations walking in to this were pretty low. I was really just hoping to meet a few people and learn some new things. Instead I was completely blown away by the 50 amazing women I met and spent the weekend with, and now I feel like I have 50 new friends. It was refreshing, it was inspiring, and it was just plain fun.

I always think that quilters/sewers are a generous bunch. I mean we love to create and make pretty things and let's face it, they need to go somewhere, so we do give a lot of things, but I was just amazed at the openness and generosity of everyone I met. I got some fantastic fat quarters in the swap. I struck gold in the sample swap and ended up with a boxy pouch, some fabric bracelets, an amazing paper pieced star pouch, and the most awesome sew south notebooks you could imagine, so thank you so much to Kari, Kim, Karen, and Nicole. Amy gave me a super amazing fat quarter of fabric that I am so, so excited about. I won two really sweet door prizes: a sewing machine print and some little notecard/tags. And somehow I ended up with the sweetest roommate ever who was not only great company all weekend and didn't kill me in my sleep, she came with bibs for my upcoming little one, a pincushion ring, and a stamped needle case, and then gave me a mini charm pack of noteworthy that I was drooling over, so thank you Susannah Kate, for being amazing!!

In addition to the amazing people, we had amazing sponsors. I can not believe the amazing things we got. We started with a sweet welcome bag (hello new rotary cutter!!) and at the end Jennifer went all oprah on us and we got the most amazing goodie bag! We got so many things, including but not limited to, batting, fabric (constellations!!! notting hill!!!!!), thread, patterns, magazine and even a book! I took a picture of the sponsors list and I just have to say that they were all so incredibly generous! It was way better than christmas; I mean really, I never get things like this for christmas!

Last but not least, I even made a few pretty things. We started off paper piecing where I made that adorable little bunny block that Jennifer designed. At the request of my little love bug it quickly became a tote bag and there is actually a second bunny on the back (she loves it in case you are wondering). We then tackled the duffle, a decidedly difficult project, especially for 50 people sharing a few irons, and Lindsey did an absolutely amazing job teaching it. The frame clutch came next and it was a small and incredibly satisfying project that Di taught. Finally we did some PJ pants (I did a muslin of shorts that is not finished yet, but I do plan on making the pants) taught by Jennifer Roycroft from We're Sew Creative, the local fabric shop we visited.  In addtion, we had a lovely talk given by the amazing Leah Day! She was so inspiring and just wonderful to meet and listen to!

Guys, I can not say enough about how good this weekend was. I wish it wasn't over, but I have tried to bring some of that love and support home with me. Community is such an important part of sewing and although I truly love the online community, it was nice to have a physical community, if only for a few days. Jennifer did an amazing job of bringing this community together and creating a fantastic environment that was so enthusiastic as well as so positive and supportive. So now as I try to get back into the swing of things, I will hang on to this wonderful experience and bask in its glow for as long as possible. I already miss all my new friends and wish we could sew together regularly. But hopefully it will push me to go out and create a community here instead of just being an isolated mommy all the time :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

sew and go

So presumably I am off having a lovely time with my sewing peeps at Sew South right now. But, I thought you all deserved to know about my ongoing obsession with the book Liberty Love. Oh sure, it started with the marcelle medallion, but it has snowballed a little. I made no-sew fabric flowers which I will present with the clutch they are made to be on, and this lovely sew and go organizer.

Now this project is not for the feint of heart. At least I don't think so. I guess it wasn't hard, but it had a lot of pieces and I am never a fan of super stiff interfacing although I do appreciate what it can do. Working with metal chain was a first for me too and for once I feel lucky I got the snaps in the right places and they actually work. In the end, it was totally worth it though and I love the way it turned out. It took me forever to pick fabrics but it is so bright and cheery and fit my things perfectly.

So here it is empty

and after I filled it up.

My only issue at this point is that if I don't keep it upright, things will fall out of it. We'll see how much of an issue that really is. Also I really should have used the ribbon width the pattern recommended, but I found this one and it was perfect so it is a bit skinny, but it works. I pretty much love it though, and I am glad I got it done in time to bring with me. Anyway, I'll be back next week! Happy Weekend!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday {3.20.13}

Well folks, today is the day! Tonight I will be driving out to Charlotte for the Sew South Retreat, and man am I excited! That means I have been pretty much losing my mind trying to get everything done. I still have some things to finish packing today, but hopefully it won't take too long. I am going to miss my man and my little, but I need a break and I am so looking forward to meeting some crafty friends and making some cool things :) Anyway, enough of that until next week. Now, onto the things that got done/I have pictures of.

sample swap bags for sew south - love the way they turned out!

sew and go organizer - obviously I needed something to carry all my supplies :) So this happened. I will have a post scheduled for Friday about it, you know, so you don't have to miss me too much :-p

fabric flowers - to decorate the clutch we will be making this weekend.

lilly belle quilt - I have actually done the embroidery since this picture, but I put a heart and the couples initials and wedding date in this blank square. Next up basting.

pony club quilt - no new blocks this week. One of these days I will just go play catch up.
hexies - Coming with me so maybe I will actually work on them
honey cowl -also coming with me

So there. I am really hoping to quilt the lilly belle quilt soon so I can get that done and sent, and also so that I can move on to my medallion quilt which is just begging to be quilted. Anyway, back to packing! Oh, and happy spring!!!!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ready to swap!

Preparations are well underway for the Sew South retreat next week. I am happy to report I finally got moving and am even hopeful I may get a few extra things finished! We'll see though, I don't want to get too far ahead of myself....

The first thing to tackle, which I must admit I had been meaning to do for weeks, were the items for the sample swap. I chose to make pencil case bags, and I showed my test bag a few weeks ago. The pattern is from Amy Butler's Style Stitches.

I wasn't thrilled with it though, I just couldn't get the zipper quite right. Usually when that happens I just add some end caps, but this time I decided to do the zipper installation from the open wide zippered pouches that Anna from noodlehead posted. I love the result! I still used the Amy Butler pattern, just with the zipper in differently. I probably could have made the smallest size, but I went up one so that a regular pencil would fit inside. I picked totally random fabrics that made me happy, and I even hand stitched the lining shut so they would look totally pretty :)

I really hope the people who get them love them. It will really be my first swap so we'll see. I am pretty excited to see what I get to come home with too! I'll report back later on that one. In the mean time, have a good weekend! I am hoping to make some incredible progress on the rest of my stuff, but this nice weather might just tempt me outside instead. Either way it will be a win.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday {3.13.13}

What a week! Definitely having one of those weeks that I have wished was over since it started. I would blame daylight savings, but I think with a toddler, some weeks are just like that anyway. Let's just hope it's a phase, and one that passes quickly. Anyway, now that my medallion top is finished, I have been able to start focusing my attention elsewhere and thankfully, that means Sew South prep! Which is a super good thing considering a week from now I will be getting everything ready and hopping in the car to drive to Charlotte.

marcelle medallion - top finished!! And it is among my favorites ever. I am seriously considering a voile backing and hand quilting. I am thinking concentric circles, even though it would probably take me forever. So now I just have to learn to hand quilt....

sew south sample swap - almost done the bags! I was so close to finishing them up yesterday, but oh well, I'll get them finished up today.

sew south prep - I need to prep my duffle bag and pick out fabrics for my clutch and paper piecing classes. And dig out my old sewing machine to bring, and all that jazz.
pony club quilt - no new blocks this week. One of these days I will just go play catch up. At least my quilt is adding lots of scraps to play with!
hexies - I haven't touched them.
honey cowl - neglected
lilly belle - I have to embroider in the one plain block with the initials/wedding date, then baste and quilt. I'll be hopefully taking care of that after I get back.

So I guess we know what I'll be working on this week! I am hoping it doesn't take too long to get all that ready for the retreat. I guess most of it is picking fabric so that could go quickly or it could take forever, you never know. I think I have some vague ideas though so that should help. Maybe if I'm lucky I'll get to start basting my lilly belle quit this week too, but who knows if I will get that far. At this point I am just hoping to make it through the rest of this week with both me and my child alive :)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, March 11, 2013

marcelle medallion: a top

Well, it took me longer than I expected, but my marcelle medallion top is finished!! And boy oh boy am I in love! So far it is on of my top contenders for favorite quilt ever. I wish the pictures did it justice.

I followed the pattern exactly, I just didn't add the final border. It is a bit small - only about 55" square, but I think it will look so good with a nice dark gray binding next to those plus signs! I also made it much less scrappy because I wanted a much calmer quilt. My only rule was no black, which I stuck to entirely until that bit of flea market fancy in the corners of the last border, and I think that kept it nice and soft. I used some of my favorite fabrics (mermaids!! whales!!!) and I just love it so much! I believe I am calling this a quilt for the new baby, but let's be honest, it's really for me :)

Now I am trying to decide whether I am crazy enough to hand quilt it. I just can't get some hand quilted concentric circles out of my head! Nevermind that I have never hand quilted anything and that it would probably take me forever. I am also considering backing it in voile, but I'm not sure I have enough, so we'll see. I did consider just hanging it on the wall since I love it so much.....I'm still not ruling that out entirely ;) In any case, this now must be placed on hold while I prepare for Sew South (next week!!!!) and work on a few other things. Here's hoping for a happy productive week!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday {3.6.13}

After a pretty slackerish end to last week, I have picked it up and am working away at my marcelle medallion quilt. I seriously can't stop. So that is my main progress for the week, but at least I gave some thought to the other things I need to do. I figured if I have a plan and know what I am doing, it will go much quicker once I finally get around to doing it, right? Only in the past couple of days has it really dawned on me that in 2 weeks I will be just about to go to the Sew South retreat!!! I am so excited but there is much prep to be done.

marcelle medallion - once I figured out that first border, I started flying through it. I can't stop! I love seeing it come together and each round just adds so much! I am halfway through making the next round and then I have 2 or 3 more, I haven't decided whether I am putting the final border on, we'll see how I feel when I get there.

sample swap items for sew south - I picked out fabric for the 4 I need to make, so once the quilt top is done and I can focus on other things, I will get right to making these.

pony club quilt - no new blocks this week. One of these days I will just go play catch up. At least my quilt is adding lots of scraps to play with!
hexies - I haven't touched them.
honey cowl - neglected
lilly belle - the back is purchased! I still need batting though.

So the goal is to finish the medallion quilt top asap and start prepping for Sew South. I hope I am not in too much of a crunch to get it all done in time! By this time next week, I really hope to have a finished quilt top and 4 completed swap bags. I guess we'll see if I am being too ambitious haha. Hope everyone is having a good week!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, March 4, 2013

this weekend

It was definitely one of those weekends where I knew there were a ton of things I should be doing, and yet I ignored them all and worked on what I wanted. It was excellent. And I am sure that at some point soon I will have to face the music and do all those other things, but I am going to put it off as long as possible and keep going on my marcelle medallion quilt :)

I love this quilt. For the moment I only have my instagram pictures to show, but I'll take some better once once I have this next border on....or the one after that....did I mention I'm obsessed?? I am kind of hoping in my insanity I finish this top this week so that next week I can work on what needs to be done. We'll see if I am that quick.

Here is the progression of the top so far

And here is the prep for the next border which just needs to be laid out and sewn together at this point. Which I will hopefully do today. And I have ideas at least for the rest of the borders.

I am so, so excited to see this quilt come together. It's funny because I had been planning on making a medallion quilt for this baby all along, but I didn't intend to even start one for another month or two. Oh well, when inspiration strikes, you go with it! And this pattern is just perfect.

 So yeah, that's what has been occupying my mind and sewing room lately. With all the different fabrics in this quilt it looks like a tornado went through. One this is done though, I am going to finish making up those pouches for sew south, which is only a few weeks away!! I also have some other prep to do for that, and I have a quilt to quilt, and a quilt to start.....but I am just going to keep ignoring all that for a while longer :)